By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chicken jerky dog treats sourced from China have federal health officials urging caution as a link between the products and illness is being looked into. A local pet nutritionalist advises against giving your pet the dehydrated chicken product.
Since late last year the FDA has received nearly a thousand reports of illnesses and/or deaths of dogs that have consumed chicken jerky treats from China. There are also concerns in Australia.
Dr. Kathy Michel is a professor of nutrition at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She says it’s still unknown what causes the toxic factor, but says what is clear is a kidney syndrome is showing up in many dogs that have ingested the treats.
“We know there is a problem with chicken jerky at this time. We don’t know what the problem is. We don’t know how to detect it. So we don’t know how to screen what chicken is safe and what isn’t. And the best that I can offer at this time is I would avoid chicken jerky treats.”
Dr. Michel says some companies will say they only source ingredients from the United States, but that is not necessarily a verifiable statement.